The country has unveiled unusual upright “nap boxes” for overworked employees in a bid to encourage a healthier office culture.
Sleepy at work? Simply stand inside this windowless box and take a nap.
That’s the talk of two Japanese companies who have unveiled a “nap box” designed to encourage a healthier office culture for white-collar workers in Japan, notorious for working long hours. The NY Post reports.
“In Japan, there are a lot of people who will lock themselves in the bathroom for a while. [to nap]which I don’t think is healthy,” said Saeko Kawashima, communications director for furniture maker Itoki. Bloomberg News.
“It is better to sleep in a comfortable place.”
The device, which looks like a sleek water heater, will support occupants’ heads, knees and buttocks so they don’t fall, according to the outlet.
The plan is to install the boxes in offices so that busy workers can take short naps throughout the day.
The designers hope the boxes will help address Japan’s strict office culture, which sees nearly a quarter of companies requiring their employees to work more than 80 hours of overtime every month – often without extra pay – according to government research by 2016 reported by CNBC.
Sleepiness at work is so prevalent that Bloomberg reports that Japan has a special word — “inemuri” — for people who nap to get through long days of work or commutes.
“I think a lot of Japanese tend to work continuously without a break,” Kawashima said. “We hope companies can use this as a more flexible approach to rest.”
The box is designed by Itoki in conjunction with plywood company Koyoju Gohan, Bloomberg reported. The companies have not yet decided on the price and availability of the boxes.
People took to Twitter on Friday to poke fun at the nap boxes, with one user joking, “This is how we get people back to the office.”
“Capitalism always wins,” said another Twitter user.